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(Memphis) The Memphis, Shelby County Health Department issued a Code Orange alert Friday.

The alert warns children, the elderly and people with long-term respiratory illnesses that the high ozone level could make them sick.

Doctor’s warn it’s not just those in the sensitive areas who are at risk for getting sick.

Nicholas Bryant is in town from Ohio for an AAU basketball tournament, “The air is a little bit heavier down here.”

The heavy, thick air isn’t good for the basketball player who suffers from asthma.

He tells News Channel 3, with the high ozone clinging in the atmosphere, he’s had to use his inhaler more than ever,  “It feels like there is a hole in my chest, like all the wind is gone.” 

 “Ozone is a chemical that irritates the lungs.” said Dr. Mary Ellen McIntire at Doctor’s Express.

The irritation starts with your throat.

An itchy, scratchy throat can indicate you are being affected by the high ozone level.

Turns out, many healthy adults need to take better care of themselves when there’s a high ozone threat.   

“Gargle with warm water, drink lots of fluids.” advised McIntire.

Bryant says, he’s drinking more water while in Memphis, so he can stay focused on a win, “You are always moving in basketball, got to keep that air coming in.” 

McIntire also suggests doing yard work and exercising outside early in the morning, before the ozone level peaks.